Stress management – how to help your employees cope with stress
Stress is a part of everyday life, especially at work. And to the right extent, it can motivate us and make us more productive. However, if we constantly feel like running on adrenaline, we talk about negative stress. That’s what we mean when we refer to stress in colloquial terms.
Stress seems to be a sign of the times, and the fact that we increasingly perceive it as negative is partly due to digitalization. While we have all learned to integrate digital end devices, i.e. cell phones and the like, into our everyday lives, hardly anyone knows how to distance themselves from them and use them in a non-harmful way. In addition, our always-on mentality accompanies us in both our professional and private lives.
At the latest since the pandemic, most companies can no longer ignore occupational stress management. But what does this term actually mean?
Stress management refers to various methods that help to manage, reduce and prevent negative stress in the long term. This involves identifying stress factors and finding ways to deal with them better.
The main challenge for companies is to provide stress management services that address the needs of all employees. This is because stress factors, also known as stressors, can vary greatly from person to person, which means that everyone needs individual approaches and solutions.
Negative stress and its consequences
According to a study by the German health insurance company Techniker Krankenkasse, the number one stressors are work, school and studies. Almost half of the survey participants (47%) feel stressed most often because of work or school-related tasks in their daily lives. The consequences of this negative stress can be quite significant.
Emotionally, negative stress leads to bad mood and irritability, and even depression and burnout. Physically, it can manifest itself in the form of exhaustion, tension, gastrointestinal complaints, sleep disorders, weight gain or weight loss.
In the workplace, this increasingly leads to:
- a lack of motivation
- lower productivity
- social withdrawal
- general dissatisfaction
Behaviors and moods like these usually affect fellow teammates, and can negatively impact the performance of an entire department.
Here’s how you as a company can protect your employees
With the workplace being the number one stress factor, the expectations employees have of their companies are increasing as well. More than 80% of employees believe that employers have a share of the responsibility for promoting mental health. But how do companies fulfill this responsibility?
Along with targeted programs to promote mental health, the corporate culture also plays an important role. For instance, it can determine whether:
- In the company, “being stressed” is equated with “being productive” and is thus promoted rather than reduced
- Employees who stay late at work are seen as “particularly committed” or “at risk of burnout”
- Managers are aware of their responsibility regarding mental health and have the necessary knowledge in this matter
The goal should be to cultivate a corporate culture that does not equate stress and long workdays with productivity and talks openly about mental and emotional health.
5 proven methods in occupational stress management
An important contribution to the creation of such a health-promoting corporate culture is clearly regulated occupational stress management. The following 5 methods have proven their worth in many companies:
1. Create a broad awareness of the topic
For an anti-stress culture to succeed, everyone in the company must be made aware of negative stress and its consequences. For example, offer courses and webinars on the topic, ideally as part of the onboarding process.
2. Get senior management involved
Managers are the ones who set the tone, not only in terms of task distribution but also in terms of work attitude and morale. If the manager pays attention to balancing their hours or avoids very early or late meetings, there is a high probability that their teams will do the same.
3. Ensure that breaks and off-time become a priority in the company
For example, declare lunch breaks a meeting-free zone or organize themed afternoons. Health days, stress prevention afternoons or exercise taster days are just some ideas. Just ask your colleagues what they wish for.
4. Invest in training for leadership and communication
Your managers also play an important role in stress management, not only in mindfully managing their own stress, but also the stress of their team members. Realistic goals, constructive feedback, and mindful leadership are just three possible topics you can use to empower your managers and, by extension, all your teams.
5. Offer targeted programs to promote mental health
A company-wide mental health program should be an integral part of your occupational health management program. In terms of stress management, giving your employees the freedom of choice is particularly important because, as mentioned above, stressors are very individual. The same applies to the solutions.
The advantages: Why investing in occupational stress management pays off
The above-mentioned consequences of negative stress lead us directly to the benefits of occupational stress management. Effective measures for stress reduction and prevention in the company can, for example:
- increase the satisfaction of your employees
- increase the motivation of your teams
- increase the productivity of your employees
- contribute to a more positive working environment and a better working atmosphere in your company
- reduce sickness absence
- reduce employee turnover
- make your company more attractive on the labor market (keyword: employer branding)
In summary: With a tool like Humanoo, you can reach all employees in a flexible and individual way
There’s a good reason why digital solutions for occupational health management have been deployed by more and more companies. Digital tools like Humanoo offer a range of benefits such as:
- Digital services can be used regardless of time and location.
- The selection of offerings can be designed so diversely in terms of content and format that they meet the individual needs of all employees.
- An app extends the reach of the offerings to include employees outside offices (in production, in the field, etc.).
- The performance and progress measurement happens automatically and offers valuable insights into performance and costs.
- Entertaining components such as quizzes and challenges increase engagement.
- Additional rewards can provide further incentives.
To this end, Humanoo offers the possibility of 1-on-1 video coaching, live courses, and surveys in order to adapt the measures as specifically as possible to the needs of the workforce.
If you would like to take a closer look at the Humanoo platform and find out how you can implement Humanoo in your company, please get in touch. Together we’ll talk about your ideas and requirements, so that we can then offer you a demo version tailored to your health and well-being goals – free of charge, that is.
In such a demo version we show you, for example,
- how your HR managers can conduct employee surveys in order to determine the current stress level of your employees,
- how your employees can learn to meditate through weekly classes or programs,
- which app resources on stress and stress management your entire team can access on demand and as needed.
You can book your free demo appointment right away. We are looking forward to showing you our platform!